Using Yeast Cake - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Using Yeast Cake

Thread Tools
Old 02-15-2008, 08:08 PM   #1
Oct 2007
Posts: 196
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Hey all, I have been planning on reusing part of a yeast cake from a previous brew. I am planning on pulling the switch off in minimal time (racking off the old cake and pouring the new wort onto it). I have read a lot that pitching on an old yeast cake is considered overpitching. The cake is from a 1.067 steam style beer and I am pouring a 1.050 steam style beer onto it. (I want to re-do the Steam as my first is way out of the ABV guidelines for the style, its gunna be heavy but it will still be an awesome beer i think?)
MY question is, would it be advisable to scoop up only a cup or two of the old yeast cake, and pitch that into the new wort? I believe that would solve my overpitching problems, but I dont want to "Underpitch". Also, I definatly do not want to wash the yeast as I just dont have the time or patience. would tossing in 2 or 3 cups of the old yeast cake into a new and clean primary suffice??
Thanks a lot for the help guys! have a great day!

Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2008, 09:04 PM   #2
Joker's Avatar
Nov 2007
Posts: 1,953
Liked 33 Times on 30 Posts

I have poured the new brew on top of the complete yeast cake from a previous brew without any ill effects. You will want a blow off tube though.

Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2008, 09:42 PM   #3
conpewter's Avatar
Nov 2007
East Dundee, Illinois
Posts: 5,109
Liked 54 Times on 49 Posts

I think you'll be fine pitching onto the old yeast cake. It's hard for a homebrewer to overpitch. It's good you are doing the same style though, that way it won't matter about some crossover between the two.

Some would say that the yeast is too stressed by a 1.067 brew but you should have plenty of healthy yeast left over to do well on your next brew.

Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2008, 10:05 PM   #4
Beer Dude in the Sunset
mrk305's Avatar
May 2007
Posts: 1,708
Liked 13 Times on 13 Posts

I actually do that fairly often. I take a spoon and a beer glass and scoop out 6 or 8 oz. of trub and add that when I pitch my yeast. Be ready for a fast ferment, and I would definetaly use a blow off hose.

Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2008, 11:28 PM   #5
malkore's Avatar
Jun 2007
Posts: 6,922
Liked 37 Times on 35 Posts

It will be overpitching, however over pitching does not guarantee off flavors.

but you do need to keep tabs on it the first day or so. fermentation will be damn near explosive, even a 5 gal batch in a 7 gallon bucket can blow krausen out the airlock, or pop the lid off.
Primary: English Mild
On tap: Pale Ale, Lancelot's Wheat, English Brown Ale, Steam Beer, HoovNuts IPA
Bottled: MOAM, Braggot, Raspberry Melomel, Merlot, Apfelwein, Pyment, Sweet mead, Cabernet
Gal in 2009: 27, Gal in 2010: 34, Gal in 2011: 13, Gal in 2012: 10

Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2008, 02:59 PM   #6
david_42's Avatar
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,599
Liked 158 Times on 148 Posts

I only reduce the cake if it is more than 2 quarts. And that is strictly because of the location of the faucets in my fermenters, I don't want too much trub.
Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

"I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact." Elon Musk

Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2008, 03:37 PM   #7
Blender's Avatar
Jan 2006
Santa Cruz, CA.
Posts: 3,106
Liked 8 Times on 5 Posts

Generally you pitch a higher gravity wort on a smaller wort but I don't think it will make a great difference. I lost a 1\2 gallon of wort when I did this once because it was blowing off so explosively.

Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2008, 03:40 PM   #8
Nov 2007
Champaign, IL, US
Posts: 131

I pitched my milk stout directly onto the yeast cake of a porter and it turned out to be the best brew I think I've ever made. It did take off like a rocket, though.


Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2008, 05:53 PM   #9
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Revvy's Avatar
Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,945
Liked 3223 Times on 1903 Posts

I'm going to do this for my next batch, and all the advice I've gotten from here is that you need to go "darker" for the second batch...otherwise, they say, you'll get the flavors of the previous batch. Ie. you wouldn't want to try to brew a pale ale on top of a yest cake used for a stout.
Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2008, 06:12 AM   #10
Born again N00b
Cheeto's Avatar
Jan 2008
Spokane, Washington
Posts: 7,370
Liked 383 Times on 338 Posts


"Generally you pitch a higher gravity wort on a smaller wort but I don't think it will make a great difference. I lost a 1\2 gallon of wort when I did this once because it was blowing off so explosively"

I have a 1.052 on deck now and I am planing a 1.075, ? this would work on top of
the yeast cake from the 1.052?
I don't want to never stop having poop stickers. -Austin post #6909379

I say some stupid chit -TXCrash post #7247287

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Making yeast starter from secondary yeast cake? Madvillain General Techniques 4 05-01-2010 02:54 AM
Yeast starter and yeast cake question BrosBrew Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 10 04-03-2009 08:32 PM
Using Yeast Cake LooyvilleLarry General Techniques 2 12-01-2008 06:37 PM
Oat stout w/ irish yeast on windsor yeast cake BrosBrew Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 1 08-07-2008 01:56 AM
Yeast harvested from a beer yeast cake used for Apfelwein? Chello General Techniques 3 02-06-2008 10:01 PM

Forum Jump